ASK TEAM NETAPP: "Classics riders – the one who love the cobblestones"
Fans ask, Team NetApp answers. Today: Jerome Baugnies. Participating fans could win three pair of glasses from our co-sponsor UVEX Cycling.
John van Santen
Do you regret that the Muur van Geraardsbergen is no longer a part of the Flanders’ route? Or do you prefer to take the Kwaremont and the Paterberg three times in the final? What do you think about the new course?
I like the old route better. I think the final would also suit me better. In any case, I think the race has become even more difficult than before. Of course, we won't know that for sure until after the race. It’s difficult to say beforehand.
What is your favorite classic race? Does the team use different tires for the classics, and if so, which ones?
I like Liège-Bastogne-Liège the best. For the classic races we ride with 23-mm tires, which are more comfortable. Only at Paris-Roubaix do most riders use 25- or 27-mm tires. Also, you ride with bar. That way, you’re faster on the cobblestone sections.
Are difficult race conditions, such as cobblestones, mud, wind and rain, a normal part of racing? Do they motivate you perhaps even more?
For me, wind and cobblestones are a part of many races. They’re not so difficult for me. But rain is another thing. I don’t think any rider likes it. It makes everyone more nervous and therefore the race is also more dangerous.
How do you protect your hands and wrists before competing at a race with a lot of cobblestone sections, like Paris-Roubaix?
You can’t protect yourself entirely. Some riders put an extra layer of tape on the handlebars before a race like Paris-Roubaix. I tried it once, but my hands aren’t so big and I immediately got cramps. Since then I ride with just one layer of tape. In any case, on cobblestone sections you shouldn’t grip the handlebars so tightly. That helps a little bit. But anyway, you only notice the pain after the race. J
What do you hope to achieve on Sunday at the Flandern Rundfahrt?
I’m competing in the race for the first time, so it’s a bit hard for me to say. My sights are set on a Top 20 spot. I’ll give it my all.